Four civilians killed in exchange of fire between India, Pakistan troops in Kashmir
Iran Press TV
Monday, 13 April 2020 5:00 PM
At least, four civilians, including a two-year-old boy, have been killed during an exchange of fire between troops of Pakistan and India across the restive Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the two countries.
Following the deadly incident, examples of which are not uncommon in the region, the Pakistani army said in a statement on Monday that heavy artillery fire by the Indian military had "deliberately targeted civilians" on the Pakistani side, where another civilian, a minor, was killed.
"Due to indiscriminate Indian fire of heavy weapons and mortars, a two-year-old minor Muhammad Haseeb in Dhudnial sector, embraced 'shahadat' (martyrdom)," the statement said, adding that four citizens, including a woman and a 72-year-old man, sustained serious injuries.
On the other hand, Shri Ram Ambarkar, an Indian police officer, said in reciprocal statements that three civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed when shells fired by the Pakistani side hit homes in two locations along the LoC in the Kupwara area of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday evening.
The most recent round of tensions between India and Pakistan was triggered on Sunday, when both armies targeted civilian areas.
Since Friday, Pakistan's military has charged India with repeated violations of the ceasefire along the frontier.
The latest string of clashes has seen for the first time this year the use of heavy artillery targeting civilian areas.
Earlier this month, five Indian special forces and five Kashmiri fighters were killed in the border area.
Pakistan summons Indian official to protest at shelling
In a related development, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry summoned an Indian diplomat on Monday, condemning the latest ceasefire violation.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said in a statement, "This year, India has so far committed 749 ceasefire violations."
Despite the ceasefire agreement that was reached between India and Pakistan in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.
India and Pakistan frequently exchange heavy fire across the militarized de facto border in the disputed Kashmir valley.
Indian troops are in constant clashes with the armed groups seeking independence across the Muslim-majority region.
Kashmir has long been a flash point between India and Pakistan, which have fought three of their four wars over the disputed Himalayan territory. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full.
India has scrapped the semi-autonomy of its part of Kashmir, sparking the new wave of tensions over the region.
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